The Hammer Series race format is designed to give the best pro cycling teams a unique platform on which to prove who is best across the board: from sprinting and climbing through to team time trialling.
Every Hammer Series event includes three challenges across three consecutive days: the Hammer Sprint, Hammer Climb and Hammer Chase.
The Sprint and Climb contribute to the team’s points total before the ultimate challenge: the Hammer Chase, where the ultimate winner is the first team over the line.
Each day, five riders from each seven-rider squad are selected, so teams can field their strongest sprinters for the Hammer Sprint, best climbers for the Hammer Climb, and best team time triallists for the Hammer Chase.
The Hammer Climb is a points race taking place over 11 laps of a 7km course containing two climbs. The start/finish is positioned just after the top of the second climb and points will be awarded to the first 10 teams to get a rider across the line at the end of each lap. Double points are available on laps three, seven and 11. The winners of the race will be the team with the most points, and the top 10 will all receive bonus seconds – descending from 15 seconds for first place to one second for 10th. These will contribute to each team’s starting position in the Hammer Chase on Day 3.
The Hammer Sprint is another points race, this time taking place over eight laps of a flat, 12.4km circuit. Once again, points will be awarded to the first 10 teams to get a rider over the line at the end of each lap, with double points on offer on laps two, five and eight. The race winners will be the team with the most points, and the top 10 will again receive descending bonus seconds that will contribute to their starting position in the Hammer Chase on Day 3.
After both point race Days comes the decider: the Hammer Chase, a 50km team time trial with a twist. Teams start in the same order as the leaderboard after the first two days of racing, with the leading team going off first. After a fixed time period, they’re then chased by the second placed team, who are in turn shortly pursued by the third placed team and so on to deliver a gripping chase to the line; the time gaps between teams are based on fixed time gaps per position and bonus time gained during Days 1 and 2.
In the Hammer Chase, whichever team crosses the line first secures the Hammer Race victory, earning points towards the Hammer Series. The overall winner at the end of the Hammer Series earns the ultimate bragging rights as the best team in the world: Cycling’s Superteam. Proven.
* Host cities and franchise partners may choose to swap the Hammer Sprint and Hammer Climb days.
** Exact number and distance of laps will vary from one race to race, to create the most challenging course and most exciting spectacle based on local topography.